Forming solid partnerships can be very valuable and important for businesses, both large and small. However, good partnerships take time to develop, and require significant effort to sustain. A true partnership is a serious relationship between two parties that share common goals and have mutually agreed to join forces together to achieve something specific. Having the right partner – and the right partnership arrangement – can provide a very powerful boost for your business and can lead to some lucky opportunities being uncovered.
However, partnerships are a double-edged sword. They require significant effort, a great deal of mutual trust, and a champion on each side to manage the relationship in order to work. Therefore, having the right partner – and the right partnership arrangement – can provide a very powerful boost for your business and can lead to some lucky opportunities being uncovered by you and your partner organization. However, partnerships are not something that you should enter into casually because the wrong partnership can defeat morale and in the worst-case scenarios, destroy a business.
Weekly Lesson Twelve (Try this…)
Before committing to a new business partnership address the questions below. If you aren’t pleased with your response, think about what changes you need to make to improve the opportunity for success with current or future partnerships, for your benefit as well as the benefit of your company.
1. Have you clearly defined your most important goals, and made sure that your prospective partner shares those same goals and vision?
2. Have you assessed what specific gaps – in skills, in relationships, or in any other assets – this partner needs to fill in order to help you succeed?
3. Have you determined how you will help him/her succeed based on the skills or assets you bring to the relationship?
4. Is it clear that both parties stand to benefit more from being partners in this arrangement than working separately? Is this a win-win arrangement or is the scale unbalanced?
Published by Beth Goldstein, Edge Institute
While I am currently pursuing my doctorate in education at Johns Hopkins University (part-time), I remain passionate about helping small business owners and entrepreneurs accelerate growth. I founded my consulting firm, Marketing Edge Consulting Group, in 1999 and established the company's training division, Edge Institute, in 2013 with a focus on helping small business owners, executives, students and entrepreneurs better understand how their key stakeholders think, what they value and what influences their purchasing decisions. I then show them how to apply this knowledge to create targeted business growth programs that drive revenue growth while increasing profitability and customer loyalty.
I teach entrepreneurship and marketing courses at Babson College. Previously I taught marketing courses at the Heller School for Social Policy & Management at Brandeis University. I also spent 13+ years at the Boston University Questrom School of Business where I taught entrepreneurial sales & marketing courses, ran their New Venture Competition for ten years and served as the Faculty Director for the university’s top ranked Online Graduate Certificate in Entrepreneurship Program from 2005 to 2014.
I have conducted business growth workshops throughout the US for organizations ranging from publicly funded groups like the MA Supplier Diversity Office to Fortune 500 companies like Fidelity Investments and Carrier Corporation. I served as the Lead Instructor for Interise’s nationwide training program, run in conjunction with the US SBA: Small Business Association's Emerging Leaders (e200) Initiative, providing training to hundreds of business owners throughout the U.S. I was also the Managing Director for the BU Urban Business Accelerator Program, an educational program that brought students to economically disadvantaged neighborhoods in Boston with the goal of improving financial capacity & business.
For Babson Global, I was on a 3-person MBA design team that created an innovative MBA program for the Mohammad Bin Salman College of Business and Entrepreneurship, Saudi Arabia. I also led the design teams for the Masters in Entrepreneurial Leadership and the 4-year undergraduate marketing degree.
I specialize in custom-designing classroom and online business growth training programs ranging from 1/2 day workshops to intensive 9-month programs for a companies as well as government agencies and organizations. I have taught in the U.S. and abroad including: China, Egypt, Indonesia, Kuwait, Lebanon, Mexico, Nigeria, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Thailand and the United Kingdom.
I have more than 30 years of direct industry experience and hold an MBA from Boston University and a BA in Economics and Sociology from Brandeis University. I am currently pursuing my doctorate in education at Johns Hopkins University School of Education.
View all posts by Beth Goldstein, Edge Institute